[Something Pretty] made me feel more understood and less alone ... truly meaningful and beautiful and I'll remember it for the rest of my life" - audience member
Eating disorders are the deadliest mental illness in the United States. They affect 20 million women and 10 million men a year, not including the scores of individuals who suffer body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered attitudes and behaviors. Many of these cases are seen in females ages fifteen to twenty-four years, and many of them participate in dance.
Something Pretty physicalizes the mental and emotional struggle that individuals with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other eating disorders are faced with on a daily basis. Through research and discussion and an excavation of our own experiences, we discovered three themes that became the driving forces of the work: Idealization, Obsession, and Acceptance. These themes enabled us to embody a journey that speaks to the trajectory of many of these individuals. This journey resolves itself by choosing a healthier, brighter and hopeful future.
Our goal is that this work inspires a discussion about eating and related disorders that informs and opens a door to those who are unaware of the nuances of these struggles. Following each performance Alexandra and Guest Dancer Alicia Hann, shared their stories about their struggles with eating disorders. Collectively the artists engaged in an open dialogue with the audience and fielded their questions and curiosities about these disorders.
Artistic Director, Alexandra Bodnarchuk, collaborated with photographer Hannah Altman to develop a series of images to accompany this project. Most specifically, these photos were used for the programs, which were designed like a fashion magazine. In Alexandra's own experience, fashion magazines played a pivotal role in her struggle with an eating disorder. Something Pretty offered her an opportunity to create such images on her own terms. Below are those images. To enlarge, click the image.
Something Pretty premiered at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA in August 2016. The following are photos from the premiere. Click to enlarge photo.
Cast: Alexandra Bodnarchuk, Marcella Day, Alicia Hann, Andrea Kozai, Brandon Musser, Patty Petronello, Alexandra Salerno, Nicole Truzzi, Jhonphillip Yonan
Special Thanks to: Allegro Ballet, Bar Marco, Commonplace Coffee, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, MUV Integrated Physical Culture, PearlArts Studios, Poros, Stack PGH -- Beth Corning, Adam Hertzman, Todd Owens, Staycee Pearl, James Turnshek, Julia Weiskopf & all the interviewees who shared their stories.
Donors: Anonymous, Jeffrey Gross, Amy Katz, Christopher King, Lyn C. Musser, Michael Oneil, Todd Owens, James Turnshek